Recently, I have been thinking a lot about the power of having a positive attitude. In a nutrition class I read about a study of 2 groups of women who wanted to lose weight. The 1st group had a positive self-body image, and the 2nd group had a negative self-body image. After tracking these women over a number of years researchers found that the positive women lost significantly more weight than the negative women. This could be attributed to these women’s responses when they gave into an indulgence. The women with a negative body image felt depressed and ended up eating more unhealthy food because of how they were feeling. They would then go on a “stricter” diet and then fail again. This kept repeating into a never ending cycle, which caused depression and weight gain in most cases. The women with a positive body image ENJOYED eating their indulging snack and were able to get back on track to their diet fairly easily. I believe this theory applies to more than just the “food” aspect of our lives.
How many times have you heard your friend, mother, sister, or yourself make an excuse to eat a cookie? Most of the time the excuse sounds something like this: “Im just gonna have one more, even though I’m not hungry but because I’m a fatty and it looks good.” Why do we feel the need to go into that much depth over one cookie? Just eat the cookie if you want it! Or how many times do you feel the need to apologize for not having dinner ready on the table when your husband comes home? Or overcooking the chicken? Or “Whelp I watched 3 episodes of Survivor cause Im a bump on a log” Why do we feel the need to say something? Why are we so negative and harsh on ourselves? It’s like we have some imaginary guideline stuck in our heads saying exactly how we should be and consequently we feel awful about ourselves if we aren’t that person. Is it really healthy to think of ourselves in this way? Is it really healthy to always be looking for what we are doing wrong? We need to be more positive and accepting of our actions. I feel like always making these little comments about “sorry I didn’t do this” or “don’t judge me for this” is not only detrimental to us and our self esteem but also so the ones around us. If our children hear these things all the time what are they going to think? They are going to feel “not good enough” when they don’t reach these impossible standards because that is how their parents feel and act.
In reality we are all so busy all the time! Its okay for us to be positive about taking breaks. If we don’t, we end up like the negative eaters, we end up binging later. We end up feeling so worn out and stressed out we end up taking a whole week off, which is very difficult to recover from, and then the whole cycle starts again. I am not perfect, and I am okay with that. I constantly have struggles with these things I have stated, but the more I have thought about it the more I want to change. I really feel like we can take small steps to becoming more accepting of ourselves. I think one of the small things we can do that can make a big difference is to notice when you make these little comments and realize that you are just being silly and that in reality You are doing a pretty dang good job at being you!